133/2024 – “There Are Sunlight Uplands Around the River Bend”

Lyrics: “Glorious You” – Frank Turner, 2015

Over the course of this weekend I’ve slowly slipped into a weird mood. Doubting myself, feeling discontent and grumpy and unmoored. Journalling only helped a little bit, because I often grapple to put my emotions and thoughts into words and whatever I put down on paper doesn’t really mirror the mess inside my head. It all went a bit further south when I realized that today it’s been 35 years since my dad had passed away. I don’t know why 35 seemed to have more significance than 30 or 33. I don’t even recall if I thought about it much last year. I didn’t even spend today reminiscing much. It might have been a good journal topic, if I ever dare to go there. Which I obviously didn’t. I just kept moping around, wondering if I should make the most of the sunny day and get outside, but then didn’t, because I just wasn’t in the mood. I’m grateful at least, that I’ve reached the point where I’m not beating myself up too much for not doing stuff I think other people would be doing – like go outside, enjoy the sun – if I just don’t feel like it. I’m also grateful for the knowledge that “this too shall pass” and that I know that I’m doing alright all in all. Feeling a grumpy and unmoored this weekend is just a blip on the radar.

Yesterday we from the local Green party had our first European election campaigning event – a booth, handing out flyers etc. – in the city centre. There weren’t too many people around, which made time pass rather slowly, but it was still ok. Even after election campaigners being harassed and attacked elsewhere in Germany, I wasn’t really worried and we didn’t really hear any abuse. Isn’t it sad though that the bar is set this low by now? One couple mostly friendly, but still determined called us warmongers, because we support that Germany helps the Ukraine with military aid.

Towards the end we had a bit of a difficult time with two women who clearly just wanted to cause trouble or at least air their grievances with Green policies and basically everything else the current German government had been doing. They were nutcases! Plain and simple. They started with claiming that Russia invaded Ukraine because Ukraine is a fascist state which discriminated Russian people. When I tried to stop the conversation right there – because I knew it would be a waste of our time – they switched to many other conspiracy theories and fake news and it was exhausting. I felt like we weren’t properly prepared to counter all their stupid arguments, which always had an inkling of some truth, but were all twisted and that’s probably the whole idea behind their enquiries about “Green Party Ideology”. They weren’t interested in a debate, they wanted to just share their fake news bullshit with us

Wind turbines are bad, because the material discharges poisonous particles into the environment. Germany heavily relies on France for electrical power since France still runs nuclear plants and Germany focuses on unreliable renewable energy. Ban on plastic straws is stupid (I even agreed there, the real plastic problem isn’t the straws). All the plastic waste caused by the COVID tests and mask were much worse. COVID testing was unnecessary and many more people died from the vaccine than from COVID. That was moment when we finally managed to send them packing. Seriously…. some people!

Unfortunately this encounter just highlighted something I recently talked to about with a colleague. One of the most impactful consequences of the pandemic, lockdown and everything is that to some degree I lost faith / trust / something in my fellow humans. I still can’t get it into my head how some people have drifted off into conspiracy land so far and so deep. Ordinary people, well-educated people, people who did study medicine FFS or any other field of science. I still sometimes can’t get it into my head how some people seemed to have lost all empathy for their fellow humans. Maybe they never had much empathy to begin with and always had been self-involved bastards, but at least than they hid it better before. I still sometimes can’t get into my head how people seem to be more and more divided and don’t even try to understand the other side. I sometimes catch myself acting in a similar way though and digging my heels in prematurely and I don’t like that about myself.

A few days ago I mentioned that I occasionally try to buy/read newspapers from the opposite to me (left/liberal) spectrum, thus a more conservative paper. I’ve just now finished reading the last articles from the weekend edition I bought last weekend and I definitely caught myself getting my hackles raised by some topics and commentary and almost vowed to myself to never buy that paper again so that I don’t have to submit myself to feeling this aversion again. Which clealry shows I’m a bit a hypocrite, because if I can’t even read about an opposing point of view, how can I expect anyone else to live or peacefully debate and engage with the opposing side?

No solution here obviously, just some ramblings.

Set of the first 10 books of "The Chronicles of St. Mary's"
No idea why the first one is packed upside-down

Let’s end with some good news: The “The Chronicles of St. Mary” collection set arrived last night and I’m already almost through the 2nd book. I still haven’t made space on my shelf for it all. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to it, because most of this weekend (Friday/Saturday, travelling back on Sunday) I’ll be in Hamburg. Seeing Frank play to a small-ish crowd in the Molotow backyard on Friday evening. I can’t wait.

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